Fighting Fantasy Legendsby Aethyna Mar 27, 2018 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews 9 rate Fighting Fantasy Legends is a tabletop-style adventure RPG that will have you venturing through the treacherous City of Thieves, confronting the powerful magician, Balthus Dire, at his Citadel, and scouring the dungeons at Firetop Mountain to find untold wealth. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Featuring three of the most popular stories of the Fighting Fantasy series, Fighting Fantasy Legends is a tabletop-style adventure RPG that is a bit more text-heavy than others (a nod to its origins), complete with the familiar dice-based gameplay. The game will have you venturing through the treacherous City of Thieves, confronting the powerful magician, Balthus Dire, at his Citadel, and scouring the dungeons at Firetop Mountain to find untold wealth.
Fighting Fantasy Legends features several of its most popular stories, namely the City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and Citadel of Chaos, which include iconic villains like Zanbar Bone, Balthus Dire, and Zagor the Warlock.
The storylines in this game are pushed forward by completing Quests, and the game does help you out a bit by giving you a Quest Log where you can then keep track of the stuff you’ll have to do. However, the description for each quest in the log is fairly simplified, so you may still need to manually note down any important clues you may want to later refer to. It would be nice to have a little notepad in-game where you can jot down stuff as you go along though.
Fighting Fantasy Legends starts by presenting you with 3 game modes of varying difficulty of the same game. The later options, namely Hero and Legend modes, are greyed out for now. You’ll be playing the Adventure mode instead.
Like any Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, you’ll first need to set up your character. You’ll get to choose one of three characters – a barbarian, a dwarf and an elf; as well as one of the many preset names. The characters you choose will basically have no impact on your gameplay, specifically in terms of your stats. There are no special perks to be gained from choosing... say an elf over a barbarian.
Once you’re done, you’ll be brought over to the iconic “stats page”. Here, you are given free rein to adjust your stat points as you like. You can add more Skill and Luck points, which will determine how many of these die you’ll have in the game, at the cost of your stamina, which is essentially your overall health.
Aside from these points, you can also choose a special (passive) skill. You can choose to boost your chances of winning Skill or Luck tests, get an XP or Gold boost, or reduce stamina loss for traps. You can even gain curse resistance, which may not seem much at the start, but if the resistance applies to cursed dice, well then it may come in handy especially if you’re not planning on going Hardcore. If you have the Hardcore mode box checked, your character will experience permadeath if his or her stamina is completely drained.
Now, if you have ever played/read any of the books in the Fighting Fantasy series, you should have a general idea of how the gameplay is going to be. Even if you have experience playing any Choose Your Own Adventure-style gamebooks, you should have an inkling of how things usually work. However, if you have neither, then you’ll definitely need to pay more attention to the tutorial pop-ups that will help guide you along. If not, you may find yourself at lost as to what to do.
That being said, even if you’re a massive fan of Fighting Fantasy, it might be wise to pay attention to the text as well. After all, this is not only the place where you can learn about how to play the game; it is also the main way for the game to present its story and describe your character’s surroundings.
The controls in this game are also very straightforward and simple to grasp. It’s generally a point-and-click adventure but with consequential choices. Choices are a huge part of the Fighting Fantasy franchise and for any Choose Your Own Adventure games really, and as such, you can expect plenty of events where the choice you make may result in certain doom or maybe an unexpected opportunity.
Events in this game come in several forms. Encounters are generally events that can be beneficial to you, such as finding Gold Pieces or precious Treasures, or it can result in a fight with one or more Monsters (or humans). You may even be presented with a decision to make or a Skill or Luck Test to get through before experiencing the outcome Sometimes, you may encounter some Traps as well. Most of the Events you face are drawn from their respective decks and from what I can tell, they are pretty random.
Fights in this game are turn-based and are heavily reliant on your Skill dice rolls. Each basic dice only has one side that’ll translate into an attack point, so you have around one out of six chance per dice to deal some damage to your opponent. You can up the odds by upgrading your dice, however. To do so, you’ll need to gain experience from fights, successful Tests or fruitful Encounters.
Unlike the gamebook-version though, an extra Skill or Luck point doesn’t really translate into having better Skill or Luck since you still need to roll the die to determine whether you’d be Skillful or Lucky, or not. It simply increases your chances -by exactly 1/6- to get the roll you want. This is something that puts me a bit off from the game… it feels like luck plays a much larger role in this game than in the original gamebooks.
Of course, dying is not something you’d like to think about but this is something that will definitely happen in this game. Unless you have Hardcore mode on, your character will get resurrected every time your stamina drops to zero. The only bad thing is that your character will have only 1 health when resurrected. Regaining health can be incredibly difficult in this game unless you have limitless Gold.
Not to mention, the death penalty to both your Skill and Luck die only made things worse since the penalty can be hard to get rid of. In fact, if you happen to die 3 or more times, you should already hit the maximum death penalty, which can be even tougher to remove. If you ask me, I’d recommend you to just start all over.
Although Fighting Fantasy Legends feels a lot like its book-counterpart, for some reason, I find this digital game to be a lot more frustrating than playing the original… maybe because of its emphasis on actual luck or because of the heavy dice penalty it imposes on death even if you’re not playing in hardcore mode (a.k.a. casually). Some players have also mentioned that the game starts to feel repetitive after a while since there are only so many encounters you can draw from the deck and if you die a lot, you’ll need to reenter the city a whole lot of times.
Fighting Fantasy Legends is not a multiplayer game and as such, having a large community isn’t exactly critical to the game’s survival. However, if you’re a huge fan of the series, you’ll be more likely to find like-minded people here.
Admittedly, I wasn’t much of a fan of the art style at first. I find the avatars at the character selection screen rather unappealing. However, this all changed once my character arrived in the City of Thieves. Although it is not exactly the go-to style for RPGs in general, the top-down view used here matches well with the gameplay and gave the game quite the unique look.
I really like the details on the maps, especially city maps, as well. Having these board-like maps also means I don’t really need to keep track of my character’s movements on my own.
The music, on the other hand, seems to draw on multiple cultural influences, which can be a good thing by being inclusive and all, but I think it could have been a bit better to not merge so many musical styles into a single piece of composition. As a result, the music sounds “all over the place”, at least to me.
In essence, Fighting Fantasy Legends still manages to retain, despite the slight adaptations made to fit the gamebook series into its new digital format, the fun and excitement that we know and love. It still has plenty of texts, some of which even contain vital clues that you’ll need to jot down, for you to read. So, despite some of the flaws mentioned, Fighting Fantasy Legends is definitely a game that fans of Fighting Fantasy or even Choose Your Own Adventure-style games should try out.
The game can be purchased on Steam, Google Play or the AppStore.